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After Applying for FEMA Assistance, it’s Important to Keep in Touch

Release date: 
December 18, 2018
Release Number: 
DR-4407-CA NR 016

SACRAMENTO, Calif. Immediately after a disaster, keeping in touch with family is important. It’s also important to keep in touch with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) after you have registered for disaster assistance.

Many survivors of the November wildfires in Butte, Los Angeles and Ventura counties who were displaced are transitioning from damaged or destroyed homes to hotels and rentals. If you change your address, telephone number, bank account or insurance information, update that information with FEMA immediately.

Without accurate contact information on file with FEMA, you could miss important correspondence or telephone calls. Inaccurate banking information could lead to your direct-deposit grants being delayed. If you need to make any updates to your information, call FEMA at 800-621-3362.

If your fire-damaged home is inaccessible because of road closures, evacuation orders, or debris, advise FEMA once your house becomes available for inspection by a FEMA-contracted housing inspector.

If you suffered damage or loss from the wildfires and have not yet applied for FEMA disaster assistance, you should register right away.

There are three ways you can apply:

  • Online, visit
  • Call 800-621-3362 (TTY 800-462-7585), 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. PST daily. Multilingual operators are available.
  • Visit a FEMA/Cal OES Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) near you. DRCs are accessible facilities you can visit to learn more about FEMA and other disaster assistance programs. You may also ask questions about your case. Use the DRC Locator to find locations. Visit


All FEMA disaster assistance will be provided without discrimination on the grounds of race, color, sex (including sexual harassment), religion, national origin, age, disability, limited English proficiency, economic status, or retaliation. If you believe your civil rights are being violated, call 800-621-3362 or 800-462-7585(TTY/TDD).

FEMA’s mission: Helping people before, during, and after disasters.

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is the federal government’s primary source of money for the long-term rebuilding of disaster-damaged private property. SBA helps businesses of all sizes, private nonprofit organizations, homeowners and renters fund repairs or rebuilding efforts and cover the cost of replacing lost or disaster-damaged personal property. These disaster loans cover losses not fully compensated by insurance or other recoveries and do not duplicate benefits of other agencies or organizations. For more information, applicants may contact SBA’s Disaster Assistance Customer Service Center by calling 800-659-2955, emailing, or visiting SBA’s website at Deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals may call 800-877-8339.

Last Updated: 
December 18, 2018 - 17:34